Flathead Ford V8 Deluxe coupe restored to factory specs

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Ford
The clean-looking Ford stands on a set of wide whitewalls

Flatheads forever!  Those of a certain age should remember that hot rod rallying cry from gearheads who anachronistically embraced Ford’s iconic side-valve V8s over the newfangled OHV engines.  Yes, that was a long time ago. Although, many purists still run performance-tweaked “flatties” in their vintage rods.

The Pick of the Day, a 1939 Ford Deluxe business coupe, is a restored example packing flathead-V8 power, an engine that generated about 90 horsepower in its original factory configuration, in which this one appears to be.

Ford
The business-coupe design features huge trunk space

This low-mileage coupe looks to be in sweet condition, pretty much as it might have been back in the day.  These cars were designed as no-nonsense vehicles for traveling salesmen (very few traveling saleswomen back then) with a single bench seat in its short cabin and a voluminous trunk for transporting samples and products.

A Deluxe version with the V8 would be driven by a more-successful salesman, rather than a base model with a flathead inline-6.

While the design focused on practicality, the styling looks appealingly sporty, so that most of these attractive cars have been rodded, customized or resto-modded. They’re not often seen in such original condition, and the temptation would be strong to “upgrade” this one for more power and drivability.  Resist!

Ford
The flathead V8 sits in a tidy engine compartment

“If you love the old Ford Flatty’s, this one deserves at least your consideration,” notes the Elyria, Ohio, dealer advertising the Ford on ClassicCars.com. “Drive it, show it, keep it in a bubble and polish it as a prized possession, the choice is yours once you make it yours.”

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The car is beautifully presented in the photos with the ad, with only 58,331 miles on its odometer and just as clean underneath and under the hood as it is on top.

“One of the nicest examples we have had,” the seller says. “The Dartmouth Green paint is beautifully applied over a true Henry Ford all-steel body that is just as solid as you would expect with its Atlanta roots. It’s our opinion that this one has never been rusty, and the fit and finish of the car illustrates this quite nicely.

Ford
The dashboard is nicely painted and the gauges look fresh

“The doors, fenders, hood, trunk, all fit very nicely on this old Flatty and the paint is of a quality that will show quite nicely at a car show.  The firewall and hood underside are nicely painted and the engine compartment is quite tidy and correct.”

The engine “performs quite nicely and quietly, the transmission shifts very well and the clutch seems to be spot on. The brakes operate exactly as you would expect for a ‘39 Ford.”

The interior is also in very good condition, although the dealer plans to replace the old-looking steering wheel.  The previous owner installed a new exhaust, stainless-steel brake lines and a “composite gas tank (think no more rust),” with a solid chassis and floor having no signs of rust or damage repair.

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The coupe is appropriately priced at $31,900 for a car that should warm the heart of any flathead-Ford enthusiast.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The 1939 Ford was not available with a six. There was a small 140 cubic inch V8 60 which was not available with the Deluxe. This was Ford’s year for hydraulic brakes and the only year that a hydraulic-brake Ford used the wide five-bolt pattern wheels which were first seen on the 1936 Ford. The 1940 Ford Standard looked very much like the 1939 Deluxe but had bottom-mounted wipers and did not have the trim strip on the hood.

  2. When I was a small kid, our family vehicle was a 1938 Ford 4-door convertible, with a 85 HP V8. Looking at the interior, I do not recognize the fake wood dashboard nor the steering wheel, which appears to belong to a different car. Tires were 600 x 16, not the size that it looks now.

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